Melany Ethridge              972.267.1111
                      [email protected]


CURE Kabul Graduates Train OB-GYN Doctors and Bring Improved
Healthcare to more than 25,000 Patients a Year


Consider the state of women’s health care in Afghanistan:

  • Every thirty minutes a woman dies giving birth in Afghanistan. It is estimated that over 80 percent of these deaths could be prevented.
  • With a nationwide maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 1,600 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, Afghanistan ranks next to last in the world.
  • More than 70 percent of women do not receive medical care during pregnancy and 40 percent have no access to emergency obstetric care.
  • In 2006, 90 female medical school students graduated from the Kabul Medical University out of 460 graduates. Females comprise just 21 percent of the health workforce. Under the Taliban, women were not allowed to work or seek education, but neither were women allowed to be served by male physicians, leading to years of women having no health care for pregnancy and delivery.
  • It is estimated that for every woman who dies in childbirth in the developed world, up to 1,000 die in the poorest countries.
  • An infant whose mother dies giving birth is up to four times more likely to die before its first birthday than other infants.

This is the tragic situation that U.S.-based CURE International is trying to improve with medical education training programs for local medical personnel, training them not only to serve patients with quality health care, but also to step into leadership roles in improving the national health care system.

CURE International’s hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, has made major strides in providing quality health care in a nation with some of the highest maternal and infant death rates in the world. As part of its initiative to reduce mortality rates, it began an ob-gyn fellowship program to bring Afghan healthcare worker’s skills and training up to that of Western standards.

The second class of graduates from this program will be honored in a ceremony in Kabul on June 7 and distinguished guests will include the Afghan Minister of Public Health, Dr. Sayed Amin Fatemie. In addition, graduates from CURE’s family practice residency will also be recognized.

Upon graduation, ob-gyn fellows become qualified as “Specialist Trainers” in Afghanistan and return to national health care institutions to train less experienced doctors in the coursework they have just completed, thus multiplying the impact of the program.

In addition to training less experienced physicians in best practices, it is estimated that these doctors will serve at least 5,000 female patients annually. Within a year of graduation, these female physicians will offer more than 25,000 Afghan women access to quality care. This is significant in a country where only 14 percent of women previously have had access to a skilled attendant during childbirth. In addition, these physicians now serve on task forces and committees that help shape their country’s health care policies.

 — 30 —


more information is available in our online newsroom: